Letters to the Editor

Should Iowa legalize marijuana?

A recent article called “Unwatched Pot” by Malcolm Gladwell raises some very serious concerns regarding the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana consumption in Iowa.

The National Academy of Medicine issued a report that was released in January of 2017. It runs to 468 pages. It’s conclusion? Marijuana is still a mystery. I am not in favor of legalizing any drug that is considered a “mystery.”

It is not a mystery how powerful some forms of marijuana can be. The following points that I raise in this letter are all derived from and inspired by Mr. Gladwell’s article.

Decriminalize marijuana? Yes. Allow marijuana use by prescription? Yes. But please do not legalize it yet. Not until we know more. Not until we know with certainty it’s true benefits and true negative side effects. We all know large numbers of children will use marijuana if it is legalized in Iowa.

There has been concern expressed among some officials in the Food and Drug Administration about another safety issue for children: e-cigarettes. Their use is soaring among teenagers. Vaping is popular among kids. That much is obvious. We see it in our community every day. The big question is, ”Does vaping or e-cigarette use become a gateway for tobacco use?” It could be. The commissioner of the FDA Scott Gottlieb believes it is. He has cracked down on e-cigarettes, “on the grounds that they are too enticing for children.”

Michael Siegel, a public health researcher at Boston University, wondered if the same might be true for marijuana. He made his first visit it to a Massachusetts recreational marijuana distribution center and found the following items on the menu. Each containing high amounts of THC; the drug that gives you the “high” from marijuana consumption.

Here is a partial list of the items he found on the menu:

Strawberry Chewy Bites

Large Citrus Gummy Bears

Fruit Flavored Cubes

Fruit Flavored Chews

Chewy,cocoa,caramel bite sized treats.

Sound like menu offerings a child might enjoy...?

- Jim Turner, Fairfield